When bringing a lawsuit, there are two ways that it can be resolved: in court or out of court. Resolving a lawsuit out of court is called settling because the parties involved decide to independently solve (or “settle”) the conflict between them, rather than having a court impose an outcome. When deciding whether or not to settle a case, there are several factors to consider: the time a lawsuit requires; the emotional toll of handling a lawsuit; and the strength of the case.
The Time a Lawsuit Requires
As a plaintiff in a lawsuit, you will need to be present for court proceedings, which can last anywhere from several hours to two or more weeks. Whether you can sacrifice this type of time will be a factor in deciding whether or not you should try to settle a lawsuit or see it go to court. Individuals who are not working or who do not have many obligations are not significantly affected by this factor. However, most people do weigh this factor heavily, having responsibilities and jobs to maintain.
Tolerance for the Emotional Toll of Handling a Lawsuit
Bringing a lawsuit can be emotionally draining for the parties involved. There are a few reasons for this. First, the level of uncertainty as to how a case will be resolved is often a source of stress and anxiety. Secondly, the allegations brought against both plaintiffs and defendants can sometimes feel as if they are personally driven. Thirdly, lawsuits often are based on an event or issue that is emotionally traumatic. Having to think about a lawsuit forces a person to mentally revisit this event. Depending on how much emotional energy a lawsuit consumes should be a factor in determining whether one should try to settle.
The Strength of a Case
The stronger a case is, the more likely it is to win. If a case is not very strong, it is wiser to try to settle. Doing this results in a more modest sum, but is better than recovering nothing at all. If a case is very strong, and would likely recover more money in court than with a settlement, this factor would weigh in favor of not settling.
Deciding whether or not to settle is a challenging decision to make. Abeyta Nelson Injury Law regularly counsels clients in figuring out how to make this important decision. If you would like a consultation, call 509.575.1588, toll free at 800.927.2845, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.